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- Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
Dirk Johnson <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 5 Aug 2001 09:56:14 -0700
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- Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
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I could do without the "thees, thous, and thy's", but not without the
cadence, word-play, and phrasing.

Thanks for the transliteration (buy why the capital "B"?). I assure you that
I've gotten much farther into the Iliad than line 10, like, er... maybe...
all the way?  But who cares?  I only care because I've been fortunate enough
to encounter it.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "aetiology of this prime mover
doesn't seem to be changed by it".  In my reading, it sets the cosmic stage
into a different time and reference than the action -- a theme repeated many
times throughout the Iliad, and highlighted during every battle.  Even the
preferences of one or the other god for the Achaens or the Trojans is
constantly portrayed as minor in comparison to the vast will of Zeus, which
operates on a different plane altogether.  How much less important is the
anger of Achilles than the will of Zeus?  If I refered to aetiology somehow,
I was merely half asleep.

As for Ez, don't know the exact location of your query, though it sounds a
lot like "Guide to Kulchur" (and you could look it up as easily as I), but
he certainly did have it in for grammarians and philologists.  On the other
hand, he frequently spoke of the need for precision in language.  Appears to
be a contradiction, since precision exists as much in grammar as in
vocabulary. But Pound was more interested in approach.  He wanted people to
read poetry for love, not because it's their job to work out the iotas and
fashion paradigms for others to memorize or to establish reputations as one
who "knows all about" a poem because they can trace "derkomen" back to the
Indo-European root *drk.

An aspect of the Cantos I've always found somewhat amusing is that ur
typical reader (at least as I've encountered him/her in San Francisco and
New York) feels that the Cantos are "too academic" in contradistinction to
someone like Eliot whom he/she doesn't feel is very "academic" at all.  And
a great deal of my own thin, sporadic, and ill-planned academic exploration
has been a direct result of the fact the for some possibly ridiculous reason
I loved the Cantos from the moment I picked them up and wanted to understand
them.  But that was after I fell in love with Homer.

Pound sure spent a lot of time reading poems (and other documents) in their
original languages, even when he was ill-equipped to do so.  Maybe he didn't
realize that a translation would have been just as good?

Don't remember the loca

-----Original Message-----
From: charles moyer [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Saturday, August 04, 2001 5:08 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: FW: In Praise of Achilles, was Re: how hermetic? how athenic?

>From: Dirk Johnson <[log in to unmask]>
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: In Praise of Achilles, was Re: how hermetic?
>Date: Fri, Aug 3, 2001, 9:07 PM

> "Then we went crying down to the ship with heavy sheep and bodies and set
> sail on the ocean."  What the hell, might as well read Pound that way, eh?

    No, of course not. He just wouldn't be the same without those good olde
King James / Quaker "thee's, thou's and thy's. But if you got all the way to
Line 10 of "The Iliad" I'm impressed. Actually it's about Line 5, "Dios d'
eteleieto Boulay," And bully, bully still on picking up on the middle voice
although the .
    But can anyone remember where Pound wrote something to the effect that a
man was reluctant to approach a classic through pages and pages of grammar?
(Excuse the poor paraphrasing)

Charles Moyer